The Past Review

Cannes player may get local release, despite concerns about clerics' reactions

ROME — Asghar Farhadi’s Cannes-contender “The Past,” the Iranian helmer’s first feature shot outside Iran, is to be screened for censors as a probable prelude to a release in his homeland, despite the negative reactions pic is likely to spark from conservative clerics.

Iran’s state broadcaster Press TV reported that a print of “The Past,” shot in France, is on its way to Tehran, requested by national distributor Filmiran.

The drama follows an Iranian who leaves his French wife and two kids in Paris, goes back to Iran and then returns four years later to get divorced.

Produced and sold internationally by Gaul’s Memento Films, “The Past” is shot in French and stars Berenice Bejo (“The Artist”), Tahar Rahim (“A Prophet”), and Iran’s Ali Mosaffa.

Farhadi’s “A Separation” took the 2011 Oscar for foreign language film and played in local cinemas. But it irked hard-liners by exposing Iranian society’s ills through the story of a marriage collapsing over desire to leave the country.

A post-Oscars welcome event planned for “A Separation” by Iran’s film community in 2011 was cancelled.

In 2012 Iran boycotted the Oscars in protest against a U.S.-made anti-Islam video denigrating the Prophet Muhammad.

Iranian auteur Abbas Kiarostami also shot his latest two pics, “Certified Copy” and “Like Someone in Love” outside Iran. Both were automatically banned in Iran without screening for the film board.

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